The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has announced a 'Simpler Recycling' initiative. This new legislation is designed to improve business recycling rates, by standardising recycling practices across England.


The legislation also makes it clear that food waste items can no longer be sent to landfill and should not be included in general waste disposal.

At the same time, Simpler Recycling encourages businesses to combine specific items together in one recycling bin. This enables a higher level of recycling, whilst reducing the volume of waste going to landfill. The legislation, together with the recent changes to Landfill Tax - is designed to improve recycling rates.

Landfill Tax increases from April 2025 encourages recycling

The March 2024 budget highlighted an increase in the cost of Landfill Tax by more than 21% from April 2025. These costs which are payable by the landfill waste operator or controller, will be passed on to businesses. Therefore, it is vitally important to encourage businesses to adopt stronger recycling habits and support the Simpler Recycling initiative. 

From March 2025, it will be the responsibility of businesses to ensure that all food waste is segregated from other waste and avoid landfill. Other waste materials should follow the guidelines outlined by the Simpler Recycling legislation. 


Read on to learn how you can prepare your business for these upcoming changes to waste management…

What you need to know

What is Simpler Recycling Legislation?

A new government legislation to be introduced on 31 March 2025 that aims to increase recycling rates by standardising recycling practices throughout the UK. Refer to the Government Executive Summary and Press Release for more details on how Simpler Recycling could impact your business.


What will the Simpler Recycling Legislation achieve?

This initiative aims to eliminate the confusion surrounding the recyclability of different materials in different regions, making the process more uniform and understandable for everyone. A particular focus of the new legislation is the eradication of food waste going to landfill. When food is wasted in this way, it also wastes the energy and resources that went into growing, harvesting, packaging and transporting the food. 


How will Simpler Recycling work?

Under the new Simpler Recycling legislation businesses must place all their food waste into a specific food waste bin so that it can be collected for recycling. Food waste can no longer be placed into a general waste bin or mixed with other recyclable materials. In addition businesses are encouraged to sort other recyclable waste into dry mixed recyclables  and  non-recyclables into general waste. The following dry mixed recycling (DMR) items, for example, can be combined in a single container for disposal and collection: recyclable paper, cardboard, metals, and plastics.


Which businesses are impacted by Simpler Recycling Legislation?
  • All businesses, schools, hospitals, and other ‘non-household’ municipal premises. In particular fast food retailers may need to consider changing bins and processes on premises to ensure that food waste is properly segregated from other waste.

  • Micro-firms — defined as businesses with fewer than 10 full-time equivalent employees — have an extended deadline of 31 March 2027 to comply with the new Simpler Recycling requirements. Full-time equivalent employment is calculated on a business (enterprise) basis rather than per site (unit), so multi-branch enterprises that have more than 10 full-time employees spread across multiple units do not qualify for this exemption.

  • The regulations do not currently apply to places of worship, prisons, charity shops, and residential hostels.

“The introduction of the Simpler Recycling legislation aims to make it easier for businesses to recycle by mandating the segregation of food waste from other waste streams. In addition, by encouraging the consolidation of all dry recyclable materials into one bin, – it encourages more waste to be recycled, rather than using general waste bins, particularly when Landfill Tax increases will significantly impact on general waste costs. 

By simplifying the recycling process, the legislation helps support our commitment to recycling and sustainable practices within the business community.”


Neil Pollard, Commercial Collections Director, Hills Waste Solutions

The benefits to business

tick-icon-whiteLower general waste costs by reducing the amount going to Landfill, and particularly important as Landfill Tax increases will indirectly increase the cost of landfill disposal for companies.


tick-icon-whiteImproved recycling rates and less waste going into landfill – helping businesses achieve their sustainability goals

Landfill Tax and the impact to businesses

Following the 2024 Budget announcement the cost of the landfill tax is set to rise from April 2025. This will mean:


Standard Rate of £103.70 increases by
21.6% to £126.15 per tonne

The Lower Rate of £3.30 increases by
22.7% to £4.05 per tonne

Landfill tax is charged to the operator responsible for management of the landfill site, and is ultimately passed to the customers. This tax only applies to waste sent to landfill, not to recyclable materials.

The price increase, together with the Simpler Recycling legislation aims to encourage business recycling rates and reduce landfill waste, ultimately reducing the expenses associated with general waste disposal costs. Separating food waste from general waste and other waste types will be particularly beneficial for businesses in the hospitality and food retail sector if they are not already managing their waste in this way, and could reduce their waste costs after April 2025 significantly. More useful information on recycling can be found here.

How to prepare your Business for the Simpler Recycling Legislation


Business responsibility

It is already the responsibility of businesses to ensure that their waste is properly segregated and collected through licensed waste carriers. The change in legislation starting in March 2025 will underpin this responsibility with those failing to act responsibly facing potential penalties.


Waste containers

Get your business ready by making sure that your business can dispose of the waste you produce in the most appropriate containers and that you have enough bins for the volume of waste produced. This particularly applies to food waste which must be placed in a separate food container.


Recycling Bins — For Dry Mixed Recycling (DMR) such as paper, cans, and plastic bottles, cardboard and more can be placed in the same bin, removing the hassle of separating various recyclables. The sorting is handled by us at our local recycling facility. Hills Waste Solutions offer a separate bin for collecting glass, therefore glass should be disposed of separately from DMR.


Food Waste Bins — Businesses will be prohibited from mixing food waste with general waste and must ensure they have a dedicated bin for food waste and organise its collection, irrespective of the volume of food waste produced.


Glass Bins — For business glass waste, including all glass bottles and jars, along with labels and tops. We recycle all the glass we collect – avoiding ending up in landfills and helping to lower your waste disposal costs through reduced landfill taxes.


General Waste Bins — For waste that cannot be recycled and is non-hazardous.


A guide to what waste goes in which container:

Recycling (DMR)
Food Waste
Glass Waste
General Waste


  • steel and aluminium tins and cans
  • steel and aluminium aerosols
  • aluminium foil
  • aluminium food trays
  • steel and aluminium jars and bottle lids
  • aluminium tubes


  • plastic bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET, including amorphous, recycled PET), polypropylene (PP) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE)
  • pots, tubs and trays made of PET (including amorphous, recycled and crystalline PET), PP (including expanded PP) and polyethylene (PE)
  • PE and PP plastic tubes larger than 50mm x 50mm
  • cartons for food, drink and other liquids, including aseptic and chilled cartons
  • plastic film packaging and plastic bags made of mono-polyethylene (mono-PE), mono-polypropylene (mono-PP) and mixed polyolefins PE and PP, including those metallised through vacuum or vapour deposition (to be included from 31 March 2027)


Food, drink and other liquids, including aseptic and chilled cartons

tick-icon-greenPAPER and CARD


Black bag waste (general or residual), hazardous waste, liquids, food waste, wood, and polystyrene


  • Kitchen and food waste
  • raw and cooked meat, bones, fat
  • non-packaged food waste
  • food waste in packaging
  • fruit and vegetables


  • Black bags (general or residual)
  • dry-mixed recycling materials
  • hazardous waste
  • glass and metal


Clean mixed glass bottles and jars


  • Windows and window screens
  • Pyrex
  • Drinking glasses
  • Ceramics
  • General waste, black bags
  • Food waste


  • Lightweight, compactable, dry, non-recyclable waste
  • Non-hazardous waste


  • Food waste
  • Hazardous waste
  • Liquids
  • Paint tins
  • Batteries, electronic and electrical equipment
  • Rubble
  • Bulky waste
  • Clinical waste
  • Gas bottles
  • Mattresses and upholstered furniture
  • Fluorescent tubes

Are you unsure about the size and type of waste containers your business needs? Hills Waste Solutions can help.


What do businesses need to do?

  • Assess your business processes and consider changing them to become compliant.

  • Ensure employees are trained and informed about how to segregate waste for your business.

  • Consider clearer signage, for bins used by staff or members of the public, to help segregate the waste – particularly important for businesses such as fast food retailers where food may currently get into general waste, perhaps deposited by customers, which will no longer be allowed when disposing of food waste.

  • Look at your existing waste collection contracts and find out the next contract renewal date.
  • Seek expert advice on the most suitable waste collection services and frequency for your business.

  • Its good practice to review your waste supplier and get competitive quotes before renewal.

  • Obtain a good price for your Food Waste collections if you haven’t already gone one in place.

  • Allow sufficient time to give notice to existing suppliers if required.

  • Move to any new contract in good time before March 2025.

Getting your business ready for Simpler Recycling with Hills Waste Solutions

It is the responsibility of businesses to ensure that they have waste management agreements in place for the collection of the dry recyclable waste streams (excluding plastic films) by 31 March 2025 – so by partnering with a licensed waste management supplier now you can ensure that you are ready in good time.

Hills Waste Solutions can help you with your unique business challenges to plan ahead for the new legislation to ensure complete compliance. 

And with an ‘Excellent’ rating on Trustpilot and 97% success rate, choosing Hills Waste Solution offers the peace of mind that you are partnering with a reliable local company that understands the intricacies of waste management, and is committed to helping your business achieve its environmental goals.

If you have questions about the Simpler Recycling Legislation and the next steps your business needs to take, our friendly and professional Customer Support Team is here to help. You can use this form to contact us and request a call back or an appointment.

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